New York Daily News


If A-rod needs to shut up, so does GM


LONDON — When you first saw the headline over on the side of the Atlantic where hardly anybody cares about Alex Rodriguez or about the Yankees, the one about Brian Cashman telling Rodriguez to shut up, you immediatel­y wondered what Rodriguez could have possibly said to make Cashman sound like Boss Cash, act like someone who owns the team instead of just working for it, like it’s his cash being paid out to A-Rod and not the Steinbrenn­ers’.

But what you found out when you read the stories was that Rodriguez said he’d been cleared to play games. It wasn’t his place to make the announceme­nt, we all understand that now, we do. And the surgeon with the biggest, loosest mouth on the Yankee side of the Atlantic wasn’t allowed to clear Rodriguez to play.

With all that? It wasn’t the crime of the century, or even close, despite Cashman’s original reaction. It is hard to make Rodriguez, at this stage of the game, look anything but bad. But how can anybody think the Yankees looked good in this, the general manager of the team talking about one of his players this way?

On Wednesday, trying to put a pinstriped genie back in a bottle, Cashman says he didn’t handle the whole thing very

well. And he says that it was reality TV at its best and that tweet from A-Rod on Twitter created issues, and then he added to those issues. And that he now regrets his choice of words. No kidding.

“I popped,” the general manager of the Yankees says, as if the rest of us hadn’t figured that out already.

By the way? Here is the progressio­n of ridiculous events that led to the start of World War A-Rod. First Cashman said this about his third baseman’s progress in this newspaper the other day:

“It sounds like it’s on schedule. He’s been running, throwing, fielding, and I know it’s approachin­g. It’s coming.”

Then Rodriguez, everybody’s AllAmerica­n, turned around and tweeted that his hip surgeon, this Bryan Kelly — a doctor who runs his mouth the way Usain Bolt runs, period, and is therefore made for A-Rod — had cleared him to play in games.

Then Cashman said what he said, telling Rodriguez to shut up and dropping an F-bomb into the quote just to make it bigger and tougher and more Boss-like. And here we are. Cashman simply could have called him up and told him to shut up or take it back, but he chose to say what he said to a reporter and now here we are. A-Rod, surely under the advice of his handlers, comes back and says he was only excited and will continue to work on his recovery.

It isn’t much different from what he said in the first place. But then Alex Rodriguez g has never known when to shut up and, let’s face it, it’s not as if there has ever been a New York general manager in the papers and in the media as much as Brian Cashman is. More and more that has been his management style, to the point where you sometimes wonder if he thinks unspoken thoughts are against the law.

We get it with him and A-Rod by now. We do. There isn’t a story written about Rodriguez’s insane contract extension of 2007 without it being mentioned, in lights, that Cashman was dead set against it. But once it became clear that all Rodriguez had to do was ask the Steinbrenn­ers to come back to get his money, it’s not as if Cashman threatened to quit if A-Rod did come back.

It is also worth mentioning that the Yankees would not have won their one and only World Series in the last 13 years without Alex Rodriguez. So until he gets kicked out of baseball or suspended without pay, he’s going to keep getting money nobody forced the Yankees to pay him.

And if they are going to get hysterical every time the guy acts exactly like the guy Cashman moved heaven and earth to get in the winter of 2004, guess what? There are going to be a lot more very big headlines with very bad words in them.

But if Rodriguez is coming back, if he gets healthy enough to actually help the Yankees before Bud Selig gives him the boot — somebody explain how this helps anybody? And how do the people in charge of the Yankees, the ones who lose their minds over his contract, , look at things if he becomes an asset again, and actually makes their team more interestin­g?

I see a big Yankee fan I know in London on Wednesday. She works in the magazine business and is the kind of Yankee fan sometimes so invested in the games that she walks out of the room.

I ask her if she knows about the current controvers­y. She says she does. I ask her if she cares. “I liked the headline,” she says. “And skimmed the story. It’s a little like having the Kardashian­s on, but not always listening.”

“Do you care about what A-Rod said on Twitter?” “Not even a little bit.” “Do you care?” “I care about him if he comes back and helps my team win,” she says.

Here is the deal with the Yankees, and their buyer’s remorse on Alex Rodriguez — buyer’s remorse twice with the same guy, a Yankee record! — this late in the game: They didn’t know who they were trading for nine years ago and they didn’t know who they were re-signing six years ago and when he opens his own big social-network mouth now, how can they possibly be shocked about it? Did they expect him to shut up now, suddenly turn into a Boy Scout? The guy they put over there at third base alongside Jeter — do they now expect him to turn into Jeter after everything he has done and everything he’s said and all the lies he’s told about baseball drugs?

Alex Rodriguez isn’t the only one who needs to shut up here. Expletive deleted.

 ??  ?? Day after Brian Cashman tells Alex Rodriguez to shut the f--- up, Yankee GM says he regrets some of those words and then talks to A-Rod on phone to mend things.
Day after Brian Cashman tells Alex Rodriguez to shut the f--- up, Yankee GM says he regrets some of those words and then talks to A-Rod on phone to mend things.
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